Report: Liverpool targeting Atletico Madrid’s Koke as Steven Gerrard replacement


Liverpool are reportedly intent on signing Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke.

Koke has been linked with a move away from Atletico for a number of months, with his impressive season last year leading to interest from Manchester United, as per the Manchester Evening News.

Although Atletico lost a number of key first-team stars, the 23-year-old stayed put, and has retained his valuable status in Diego Simeone’s plans. The same report mentioned above indicates that United’s interest is still being focused upon the Spanish international, but a move looks unlikely at this moment in time.

However, it could be another English club that swoop in for the young midfielder, with AS in Spain reporting that Liverpool are tracking Koke as a long-term replacement for club captain Steven Gerrard. Gerrard, who is leaving the club at the end of this season, is still a vital part of the Reds side, and his absence will be heavily felt.

There is no real replacement already in the Anfield ranks for him, and Koke would provide long-term cover, having already shown his incredible talent during his time with Los Rojiblancos.

Although the interest is there in Koke, a formal offer for the midfielder could prove to be very hard for Liverpool, with the player having a €60 million buyout clause in his contract, as per Football Espana. It is a sizeable fee to pay-out on a player who is as yet unproven in the Premier League, but his potential to be a Liverpool great could be the catalyst that sees the Reds make a move.

It is possible that Liverpool will try to prise Koke away by offering less than his buyout fee, but, with Simeone unwilling to sell, and the player himself content with Atletico, the Reds may be shunned until they pay the full clause.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch